Australia’s Tall Poppy Syndrome (What To Do When You’re Too Big For Your Boots)

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A big warm hug and welcome to many new subscribers this week and many treasured and cherished members of the Sacred Women’s Business community. Your life matters, your business matters and you have a unique gift and an important legacy to give.

This week, I decided to delve into the mysteriously prevalent Tall Poppy Syndrome and how it affects women in business especially here Down Under. Tall Poppy Syndrome is a term used to describe what happens when poppies grow taller than their neighbours. They get cut down. In Oz, this phenomenon applies when someone attempts to rise in their lives or business and they’re immediately cut down with criticism or judgement because their changing stature threatens the status quo.

On a personal note, I have so many memories of my happy childhood in Australia. I had a pet budgerigar called Bluebell, some awesome Barbie Dolls, 2 brothers, 2 sisters and a pair of roller skates. What more could a girl want? I loved being me so much.  I remember sipping lemonade at our neighbour’s barbecue and feeling like I was the luckiest girl alive to be me and that I was in the middle of the best day of my life.

I loved doing handstands and then walking on my hands.

I loved writing poetry.

I loved dreaming of the stories I would write.

I loved being Head Girl in my final year at Deanmore Primary School. From the moment I had entered primary school I wanted to be Head Girl.

Words with vague and not so vague meanings were bandied around the playground and started the slow, steady sense of unease…  It was a sense of unease that it wasn’t ok to be me.

‘You love yourself,’

‘You think you’re god’s gift’,

‘You’re a show-off’

‘You’ve got a big head’

‘You’re a sell out’

‘And my favourite-

‘You’re too big for your boots’

This week I recorded something to support you when you feel like you’ve been subjected to Tall Poppy Syndrome and how I’ve dealt with it in my own life.

Enjoy the recording!


Posted in

Lisa Fitzpatrick


  1. rachel on July 15, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Lovely post, such a shame when other people try to bring us down…….we have to love ourselves in order to bloom and we should be encouraging others to go get their dreams x

    • Lisa on July 16, 2014 at 2:12 am

      thanks faery enchantress Rachel, I’m feeling privileged to have your presence here xx

  2. Lisa Scott on July 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I have never heard of Tall Poppy Syndrome, but yes too big for your boots, unfortunately those that are not achieving success themselves will nearly always be negative towards those that are achieving success. One needs to ignore these comments and carry on achieving …….

    • Lisa on July 16, 2014 at 2:10 am

      Thanks Lisa, you’re so right about that. We do need to carry on achieving, knowing that there will always be lovely people in the world who care about our success because of how many beneficial ripple effects we can have on society as a result. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment 🙂 Namaste, Lisa

  3. Tabitha on July 16, 2014 at 1:56 am

    This is something I can relate to as a recent victim of online bullying just because I’ve been proudly standing up for what I believe in. Luckily I’m a strong person and when I use the term ‘victim’, I use it loosely.

    I enjoyed your recording and will follow on Facebook 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Lisa on July 16, 2014 at 2:15 am

      hi Tabitha, thanks for stopping by and I’m sorry to hear that online bullying happened in our world. It’s so great to hear that you stood up for what you believe in. Please know that your opinions matter! I wish you much success finding your voice and staying true to it, that really inspires me. Namaste, Lisa

  4. Emma Fahy Davis on July 16, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I was subjected to similar taunts in primary school, it really knocked my confidence for a long time, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to re-learn that it was okay to be awesome.

    • Lisa on July 24, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      that’s right Emma Fahy Davis – it’s totally ok for you to be awesome! Not only is it totally ok, but it’s also going to make the world a better place when more women own and celebrate their awesomeness. I wish you many happy times ahead xx

  5. Kim on July 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I had not heard of tall poppy syndrome either, being in America. But I have heard the sayings being “too big for your boots” and the similar “too big for your britches”. I have not personally experienced this just yet. People just stare at me like I have grown green antennae when they find out I have my own business and all that. lol Funny how people can’t just be happy for other people and stop being jealous.

    • Lisa on July 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      hi Kim, that’s funny about the green antennae, I can picture the look on those people’s faces :). Best of luck with your business. It’s great when we find people who can be happy for the success of others. Thanks for stopping by xx

  6. Jane Lovas on July 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm


    I know I can relate to the “Tall Poppy” syndrome, I imagine most of us can as in some way or another there is some part of of that’s been afraid to speak up or share our power for fear of being thought “To big for our britches.” Even though no one said it to be I heard it and so placed that on myself.

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Lisa on July 24, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      That’s true Jane. Even when we haven’t heard someone say it to us, we may have heard it being used in relation to someone else and that also affects our ability to shine outwardly. I wish you all the confidence you need to shine brightly. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 love Lisa

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A spiritual business and women's leadership coach. Here I discuss the art of feminine leadership and sacred success.

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